The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 18, 2013

Friends raising funds for retired policeman

JOHNSTOWN — Retired Richland Township police Sgt. Mike Goncher gave selflessly to his community for many years and now needs some assistance of his own.

A group dubbed Friends of Mike will host a pig roast tailgate fundraiser for Goncher from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at Solomon Run Fire Hall, 176 Mount Airy Drive, Richland.

Goncher was diagnosed in July with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal condition for which the only treatment is a lung transplant.  

He has been placed on the list at UPMC in Pittsburgh for a double lung transplant because of the advanced stage of his disease.

“It progressed so quickly,” said Roberta K. Ream, vice president and trust officer at Somerset Trust Co., where a medical fund has been established for Goncher. “He’s in the process of trying to get a transplant.”

The preparation care, surgery, after care, housing for the required stay after surgery and prescription costs are exorbitant and are not all covered under Medicare.  

The Gonchers are selling their Richland Township home to prepare for these expenses, and the community will come together at the fundraiser to help raise additional funds.

All money raised will go to the Gonchers to help defray the medical costs associated with the disease that are not covered by Medicare.

Goncher was part of local law enforcement for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2005.  

As an active member of the community, he also served as a paramedic, motorcycle safety instructor and security guard.  

Goncher also served as a paramedic for seven years with the police department and was a volunteer paramedic with the Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department during his off hours.

The tailgate party will feature a pig roast, beverages, desserts and basket raffles. Each $20 ticket includes admission to the party and a chance to win two tickets for the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 15 and an 18-inch diamond necklace.

The winner does not need to be present to win.

Ream said additional raffles will be held for baskets and other prizes.

The public can help by sending a donation to the Sgt. Mike Goncher Medical Fund at Somerset Trust Co., 1416 Scalp Ave., Johnstown, Pa. 15904.

“They also can drop off a check,” Ream said. “Everyone at the bank knows about it.”

There also is a support group for Goncher on Facebook.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads